tv [untitled] September 22, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm PDT
acknowledge jesse and carolyn. i know there are a number of people here. thank you so much for being here. we will try to move through the agenda as quickly as we can. madam clerk, can you please call item 1. >> linda wong: item 1, hearing to consider appointing eight members, terms to be determined to the wage task force. there are eight seats and nine applicants. >> chair kim: thank you. i will call up the applicants in the order that you are listed on the agenda. because we have nine applicants and a number of agenda items, i am going to ask you to limit your comments to two minutes. i will be calling up ace wiseman and charlotte noss. come up. ask you to speak about your work experience and skill set as relates to the position that you are applying to and maybe some of the areas you would like to
prioritize during your term on the task force. thank you. >> hi. my name is ace wiseman. i'm a board member with young workers united. i've been volunteering with them for the last two years. i just graduated from san francisco state university. and i've been living in the san francisco for eight years. since i've moved here, i've been working in the food service industry almost the entire time. prior to moving to the city i also worked as a laborer doing construction work and also landscape work. so i've been in industries for most of my life in which -- is pretty prevalent. i've also been a victim of wage theft myself, working in the -- in a restaurant here in the city appear and i know how humiliating and frustrating it can be working in an environment where you feel taken advantage
of. i've himself known many people throughout working in the food service industry in the city who are experiencing wage theft and weren't able to do anything about it. some of the reasons that are very common, they feel they won't be able to get a job somewhere else, they live check to check like many people in the city are. i've been in the same position and know it's very difficult sometimes to find another job. if i'm appointed to this committee, one of the priorities
>> my background and experience, i've been working with wage immigrant workers for more than a decade as a union organizer and most recently as a labor employment attorney. i represent a wide variety of low wage and immigrant workers who are victims of wage theft. i represent individuals in front of administrative bodies, both here in the city and at the state and federal level. i represent individuals in state court and federal court, in both individual and class action. and i work on advocacy with workers, seeking a change -- the rules that amy to them, both at the city and the state level. my priorities to work on the task force are both to bring my experience to bear and what the real challenges that workers are
facing in making ends meet and also the knowledge of understanding bunderstanding bun comply with the law and still make a profit and it is unfair for businesses to get away with exploiting workers and cutting their competitors. thank you. >> chair kim: thank you. seeing no questions from committee members, thank you. and then if we could go to terry valen and shaw san liu. there are only eight applicants for eight seats so i apologize for misstate thag. >> good afternoon. my name is terrence valen, director of the filipino community. we've been working in low income and filipino community. we've been working with caregivers, domestic workers, hotel restaurant workers, doing culturally outreach and language
specific assistance to workers seeking wages that they're owed. this is work they've been done and haven't paid for. i've been able to, as part of an alliance or part of the progressive workers alliance, learning about industries and communities across the city that are not being paid fair wages. i've been able to assist some clients through my -- english, to fight for their wages. we've brought legal assistance. we've worked with the labor standards enforcement office, to particularly highlight the wage theft situation in the filipino caregiver community. it's a growing industry in the community and across the countries. the population in the country is aging and a lot of caregivers working, a lot of undocumented filipinos who work in that industry who deserve fair wages. we've been able to do that work as part of the california domestic fair workers, and some of them don't get some of the same rights and working on industries that need to change
some of the legislation that governance the rules of those industries. we've been able to raise this issue locally in san francisco, and statewide. >> chair kim: thank you. seeing no questions, i do have an announcement to make from the sheriff. we do have an overflow room ready and we can't actually have people standing. i do see that the people that are standing are here for this item. so i'm hoping that some of the folks here for the later items wouldn't mind giving up their seats so that we can comply with the sheriff's office. if we can call up shaw san liu and tina liang chen. >> my name is shaw san liu organizer with the chinese associate tonight and workers center. i have been working as cpa for the past six years, where i
currently coordinate our wage counseling services, which includes supporting workers and filing claims at the city, state and federal level. we do a lot of direct organizing on cases, and i personally have worked on numerous cases of wage theft where immigrant workers were not paid legal wages, and where we had to find ways to bring community, government, and worker pressure to resolve cases of wage theft. i coordinate our leadership development work, where we try to bring the voices of low wage workers to city and state platforms where they can be heard. and i was also coordinator of the worker participation in the check -- report looking at restaurant working conditions in chinatown in the efforts to look at how we could address the egregious and widespread nature
of wage theft in our community, we conducted a lot of research looking at different policies that were happening across the country, around enforcement of labor laws. and we were part of forming the progressive workers alliance in san francisco to try to figure out how low wage workers needs could be better served in the city. i'm thrilled san francisco is taking the wage problem seriously and made this task force. i would want the experiences of workers and the multifaceted of nature of wage theft can be addressed in a holistic sense by bringing multiple stakeholders together and continue making san francisco a leader in the country. >> chair kim: thank you. if we could next have tina liang chen, and i believe dawn huston
is not here. karen heisler. >> my name is tina liang chen. i came to san francisco in 1985 and have raised my family here. my husband and i live on edenberg street in excelsior. i know personally the problem with wage theft is for many workers, and i also know how hard it is for the workers and the city to deal with this problem. when i first came to san francisco, i got a job as a teamsters. at that time, the minimum wages was $3.35 per hour, but i just make approximately $1 per hour. i worked 10 hours per day, six days per week, without paying overtime. in addition the boss always did
not pay the worker on time. later i got a job working as a housekeeper in the hilton hotel because we have a uniat the hilton, the job came with good wages, and helped me buy a house, and keep my family in san francisco. we have healthcare, and we have -- we have healthcare and we have a pension. i will be able to retire on. i became a rank and file leader at the hilton hotel, and eventually i became representative on start of local 2. earlier this year, and member of local 2, let me secretary treasurer of our union. i started working with the city to -- minimum wages and hours law. our union has also tried to take both the problem of wages theft through legalization, we employ more and more -- in the hospitality industry, rely on subcontractors to do their job.
for example, many of the bigger hotels use subcontracting dump to clean the building at the night. san francisco is one of the fewer place where our union has been able to make sure that those subcontractors abide the hotel's union contract. but even here, we have see a lot of problem with wage theft, and other bills. >> chair kim: thank you. that's your tile. thank you so much. karen heisler and mani sheik. >> thanks for initiating this. my name is karen heisler, co-owner of a small bakery and cafe in the mission district in supervisor campos' district called mission pie, a business that's been in san francisco for about five and a half years.
and was founded on a strong set of values around sustainability, including economic and social sustainability. we take equity and fairness really seriously. and i am excited about the opportunity to serve in this capacity. my work background includes working in government policy at the federal level, working in the nonprofit sector, working as a business owner. i'm intensely interested in helping to develop policy that can be implemented at the ground level, since that's where the rubber meets the road. i recognize that the sector that i'm in, the food sector, has serious issues in this regard. and it would be really, really meaningful to bring our very
small demonstration of it being not only possible but essential to operate a business with values protecting against wage opportunity. thanks. >> chair kim: thank you. if we can have our last applicant, mani sheik. >> good afternoon. my name is mani sheik, an attorney in san francisco. i currently work at the firm hirschfeld, starting monday i will be at a new firm called miller law group. i specialized in employment and labor law and particularly i work in the food and beverage industry, representing my clients generally are the restaurants and the entities that own the bars and the establishments that seven the food and the beverages. i also specialize in wage an hour litigation. i spend time dealing with minimum wage and overtime claims
in state and federal court level. so i have a great deal of experience with wage theft from the legal perspective, which is how i'd like to help with the task force. therefore, my priorities would be to establish clear and enforceable rules and regulations because i don't think they exist at this level. and to find ways to actually make them enforceable as the previous applicant said. thank you. >> chair kim: thank you. at this time, if there are no further comments from board members, we will open up for public comment on this item. if you'd like to speak on item no. 1, please do step up. >> good afternoon. my name is espanola jackson bayview hunters point. i didn't know this was on the
agenda. thank you, you are the one that put this together. this is very much needed. should have been done years ago. and i'm hoping, listening to the statements that was being made, i want to make sure that i find out who the chair is going to be so i can get their number so they can come to my community. thank you very much. please pass this on. >> chair kim: thank you, ms. jackson. >> tim paulson, executive director of the san francisco labor council. i didn't know this was on the agenda today but i'm very pleased to do it because we in organized labor like to raise the floor, and i just want to comment that all the different community and business groups that are being represented at the microphone are people that have worked with the labor community, the organized labor. and i just commend you guys for moving this forward, and i hope this task force is as successful as it claims to be. thank you. >> good afternoon. my name is tiffany crane.
i'm codirector at young workers yubtd. i'm here to say thank you for establishing this task force, and to support all of the members of the -- the future members of the task force who have presented today, in particular ace ha on our board r the last year, and our members, at young workers united, an organization that has worked to improve the positions of young immigrant workers, they have voted unanimously to support him as our representative. so i just wanted to add that as well. so thank you. >> is there any other public comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is now closed. and just for clarification, because i know this has come up as an issue before, the first four seats of which we've heard today must be persons with experience in the issue of
wainel theft, and must represent a community based organization. seat five is a person who works at a labor union that has experience in the industry, where we know that wage theft has occurred. the last three seats are for persons representing responsible businesses or employers here in san francisco. and i do want to thank all the applicants for being here today. i want to give supervisor campos a moment to speak as the author of the initial legislation that brought this forward to us. >> co-chair campos: thank you very much, madam chair. i want to thank all of the applicants coming forward and submitting their names for consideration, and also to the members of the public, who spoke. i was going to acknowledge the executive director of the labor council, so i'm glad that he came up. one of the things that really was very exciting to see, for me, as supervisor mar and i began the work of really putting
into effect the vision that the progressive workers alliance and others brought to us in terms of ending wage theft, was the fact that how much there was commonality between workers, labor, and the business community. the wage theft legislation that was passed at the board of supervisors was passed unanimously and with the support of not only workers but business owners. the creation of a task force to fully implement what is intended through that law was really to make sure that we move quickly in doing everything we could so that we could say that everyone who works in san francisco is paid what they're due. and the unfortunate reality is that we're not in a position where we can say that just yet. but i do believe that we will
get there. and this task force will ensure that that's what happens. and i want to thank the progressive workers alliance, who have been working on this for so many years, and who have been pushing this issue forward. i want to thank our partners in the labor community, who have also been very supportive of this effort. and i also want to thank the business community in particular, the golden gate restaurant association and the san francisco chamber of commerce, who took the time to meet with us, and work with us, and make recommendations not only about the underlying legislation, but also about the membership of the task force. and i think that we can see here is that this is a pretty diverse task force of people that represent different sectors of the san francisco community, and the business community in particular. with respect to dawn huston, she couldn't be here today and there was going to be someone who would speak on her behalf but that person actually broke a leg last night.
so they couldn't be here. but maybe the term break a leg is a good sign. i don't know. but it is my honor to move forward with a positive recommendation the following appointments, ace wiseman for seat one, charlotte noss seat two, terrence valen, seat three. shaw san liu who has been the driving force, if there is a driving force behind this, for seat no. 4. tina liang chen for seat five. dawn huston for seat six. karen heisler who again she and her partner demonstrate every day that it is possible to be successful, and run a business in a responsible way, that treats workers respectfully, for seat seven. and mani sheik for seat eight. each one brings a unique
perspective and dispr expertiset will be deeply useful to us so i make that motion. >> second the motion. >> chair kim: we have a motion and a second to forward these eight names with recommendation from the rules committee. i just want to also thank supervisor campos for -- and also supervisor mar for bringing this legislation forward to the board and i'm glad we will have a task force many who have worked actively in bringing this to us. this is an important issue that got unanimous support throughout the city as something we want to counter. it helps to have a citizen body who has expertise or worked in these industries and understands how wage theft can occur to help with this legislation. supervisor campos. >> co-chair campos: i wasn't reading my note but i want to thank hillary ronan from my office who has been working on this for quite a long time and has made it possible for us to get to this point. thank you, hillary, for your
excellent work. >> chair kim: i'm glad to see we have a diverse community who can reach out to a number of different communities where we have often seen wage theft occur but i'm very appreciative that we have employers and small business owners that can represent, as well. i'm so grateful that we have these small business owners that are super conscious of these issues and willing to serve in this capacity. thank you. seeing no other comments in the board we have a motion and a second. we can do that without opposition. thank you. madam clerk, please call item 2. >> linda wong: item 2, motion approval/rejection -- to the public utilities commission for unexpired portion of a term ending august 1, 2016. >> chair kim: thank you. i believe ms. caen is in the audience. we know this is a reappointment. thank you so much for your 15
years of service on the puc commission. i think we're all familiar with your background and work. but if you want to speak briefly to some of the work you've engaged in as a commissioner and what you would like to prioritize in your next term on the puc commission. >> yes, that's true, i have served 15 years. four years as president. and i want to add, too, that i have worked with seven different general managers, which has taught me a lot of flexibility. but, today, i wanted to talk about, today and tomorrow, and today really is about last tuesday, when we had the groundbreaking of the sutro reservoir. this is the last project for the sutro program. i sat there and had great pride that we are all here, looking at history. they'll look back and say these are the people that put in this new system, not only in the city, but a regional city, that
will be here for a hundred years. and i think, gee, in the year 3012, i can see the commission saying, subject it abou isn't io redo the system. that's very exciting. talking about tomorrow, tomorrow's already happened, and that is a wastewater program. we must move forward on this. our plant, down in bayview, is in terrible disrepair. and this was supposed to be done in '02. i know the reasons but won't go into it. it's been postponed for 10 years. and these poor folks -- down there, have endured the situation for so long. so we must move forward on that, and we have -- it's going to be a $2.7 billion project. unfortunately, it looks, right now, that it's going to take 10 years to do.
so one of my pursuits will be to push that up, to try to make it -- and, lastly, i just wanted to say something about san francisco puc. first of all, we have a very cohesive commission. we have two commissioners up for reappointment, as well as myself, francesca -- i want to thank ed harrington who has done wonder for the puc. i think any private utility would be very proud to have these people. and i will finish up now, and i must say that although i now sit in the finance seat, i have always been the point person on our commission. i've done the budgets. our business administration was really in poor shape until our cfo came -- restrom, and changed
things completely. to me, he's my hero, he's my genius. he has put together $4 billion worth of bonds out of our 4.6 billion for the water system, saving the ratepayers quite a bit of money. so to me, todd walks on water, and the water of course is hetch hetchy. >> chair kim: thank you, ms. caen. i think this goes to the entire commission but being that the board just heard a pretty historic piece of legislation from your side, we just want to thank you for all of your work on that because i know many of you spent many years on the cca legislation. and clearly a lot of thought went into that process. you had many kind words for the puc. we want to commend ed and your
commission and we're excited to work with -- thank you i metropolitan to call items 2, 3, and 4 together. so is that possible to do now? >> linda wong: yes. >> chair kim: can you please call items 3 and 4. >> linda wong: item 3 -- the mayor's reappointment of francesca vietor for the term ending august 1, 2016. item 4, mayor's reappointment of vince courtney, unexpired portion of a term ending august 1, 2016. >> chair kim: we have a question from committee members. supervisor campos. >> co-chair campos: thank you, commissioner, for your willingness to continue to serve and for the work that you've already done. i will be very happy to support